Author Topic: Any experience with St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary?  (Read 1126 times)

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Offline Banezian

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Any experience with St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary?
« on: May 02, 2018, 08:40:34 PM »
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  • I'm a freshman studying Classics at a small Catholic college, and I'm discerning a vocation to the priesthood. I don't agree with all that they do, but I respect the SSPX. I was wondering if anyone here has experience with St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary. What reputation does the Seminary have( academically and spiritually) Current or former students would be especially helpful. Please, no arguments about the SSPX. That's not why I started this thread
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    Offline JezusDeKoning

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    Re: Any experience with St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary?
    « Reply #1 on: May 03, 2018, 03:18:09 AM »
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  • Hi, Banezian. Both our admin, Matthew and I believe someone else, attended the seminary in Minnesota for a time. They could talk to you about it.
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    Online Ladislaus

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    Re: Any experience with St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary?
    « Reply #2 on: May 03, 2018, 08:50:44 AM »
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  • I was there many years ago now (1989 - 1991), so I can't speak to the current state of the seminary.  I too studied Classics ... got a double major in Greek and Latin at Loyola University of Chicago, and then completed the graduate coursework in the Patristic Greek and Latin program at The Catholic University of America.  I changed course and didn't take the exams, so I never got my Ph.D. (even though I took all the necessary coursework).  I was enlisted to teach Latin at the seminary.  While at CUA, I also took graduate-level theology courses, and I can say that I learned more theology in the first month at St. Thomas Aquinas than I did at all these classes combined.

    I was actually a Freshman at Loyola when I first found an SSPX Mass center and started attending.  Then, after my Sophomore year, I decided that I wanted to enter the seminary.  So I took summer classes and finished my degrees by the end of my Junior year.  After leaving STAS, I eventually returned to grad school at CUA.  But I changed course and became a computer programmer (something I had done since the age of 10 on my own) ... to make a living and support my family.

    Offline Matthew

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    Re: Any experience with St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary?
    « Reply #3 on: May 03, 2018, 12:38:08 PM »
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  • I was there many years ago now (1989 - 1991), so I can't speak to the current state of the seminary.  I too studied Classics ... got a double major in Greek and Latin at Loyola University of Chicago, and then completed the graduate coursework in the Patristic Greek and Latin program at The Catholic University of America.  I changed course and didn't take the exams, so I never got my Ph.D. (even though I took all the necessary coursework).  I was enlisted to teach Latin at the seminary.  While at CUA, I also took graduate-level theology courses, and I can say that I learned more theology in the first month at St. Thomas Aquinas than I did at all these classes combined.

    I was actually a Freshman at Loyola when I first found an SSPX Mass center and started attending.  Then, after my Sophomore year, I decided that I wanted to enter the seminary.  So I took summer classes and finished my degrees by the end of my Junior year.  After leaving STAS, I eventually returned to grad school at CUA.  But I changed course and became a computer programmer (something I had done since the age of 10 on my own) ... to make a living and support my family.

    I was there from 2000 - 2003, and I did Bishop Williamson's "zero year" a.k.a. Humanities. So I only made it partway through "third year" even though I spent 7 semesters there.

    It was a different place then, and in fact the Winona, MN property is no longer used to train seminarians. The SSPX American seminary is in Virginia now, isn't it?

    Different building, different location, different rector, different attitude in the SSPX, different language used to teach theology, different Canon Law taught, different attitude towards the Conciliar hierarchy, different views on the Crisis being taught, etc. (I know you didn't want to get into the Resistance vs. neo-SSPX debate, but frankly it's hard to pass over that element altogether.) There's a reason there's a Resistance -- there are a lot of concrete changes which have taken place, including at the Seminary, and these are the things that many decades-long, non-sedevacantist, serious Catholic, former SSPX supporters are "resisting" at the present day.

    I loved my seminary experience, but it's sad to say that it wouldn't be the same today.

    Unlike Ladislaus, I had no college experience before the seminary. I had only worked as a PC tech, then computer programmer, before entering the seminary. I was one of the oldest in my class, being almost 24 years old when I entered. When I was dismissed from the seminary (I didn't quit), I began "part two" of my programming career, this time focusing on web development (PHP, MySQL, Javascript, etc.) And also like Ladislaus, I am married with a large family to support.

    I also took to computer programming at a young age (7) but couldn't get my hands on a computer until age 15 -- computers were too expensive back then. Even used computers cost several hundred dollars, and my family was poor at the time. I remember that in 1991, a cheap, slow, crappy computer system (with 14" monitor) used to cost $1,300. There were no "Raspberry Pi" $35 computers, no $300 laptops, no $400 small computers, no $200 little cube computers, none of that.
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    Offline Incredulous

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    Re: Any experience with St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary?
    « Reply #4 on: May 03, 2018, 04:08:51 PM »
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  • An independent and meaningful answer would be to compare the seminary curriculum from the Bp. Williamson's rector days (2003 end?) to Fr. LeRoux's administration.

    It may be possible to get the current seminary courses and list of class texts, but the older curriculum & texts may have to be pieced together, by asking former seminarians.

    After meeting-up with a couple Winona seminarians a few years back, the "Pheifferians" made the claim that the curriculum had dramatically changed to modernists teachings. But this claim was never well documented.





    "Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it underfoot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Our Lord Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor but a destroyer."  St. Francis of Assisi


    Offline Centroamerica

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    Re: Any experience with St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary?
    « Reply #5 on: May 03, 2018, 06:00:13 PM »
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  • Call (better yet go there in person if possible, visit first in Virginia now as Matthew says) and ask to speak to Fr. James Peek. If you have a vocation, he is the priest at that seminary that you want to talk to.
    We conclude logically that religion can give an efficacious and truly realistic answer to the great modern problems only if it is a religion that is profoundly lived, not simply a superficial and cheap religion made up of some vocal prayers and some ceremonies...

    Online Ladislaus

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    Re: Any experience with St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary?
    « Reply #6 on: May 03, 2018, 06:50:28 PM »
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  • I also took to computer programming at a young age (7) but couldn't get my hands on a computer until age 15 -- computers were too expensive back then. Even used computers cost several hundred dollars, and my family was poor at the time. I remember that in 1991, a cheap, slow, crappy computer system (with 14" monitor) used to cost $1,300. There were no "Raspberry Pi" $35 computers, no $300 laptops, no $400 small computers, no $200 little cube computers, none of that.

    I remember that my father bought us the Atari 400 when I was 10.  I don't know how much that cost at the time.  I got this program cartridge "BASIC".  I bought a bunch of magazines and a few books and started hacking away at programming.  But all we had to save our work was this magnetic tape drive (same type of thing as an audio tape).  I spent most of a summer working on programming a game ... a sports game.  It was actually pretty good by the day's standards.  So one morning I get up and try to restore my program from tape so I could pick up where I left off.  About 30 minutes into the restore process, it failed.  I tried again desperately a few more times ... to no avail.  So I lost a couple months' worth of work.  I was determine never to let that happen again.  So I started saving up for this newfangled device called a floppy drive, a 5 1/4" drive that held an amazing 1.44K of data (if I recall).  I was finally able to purchase one at a deep discount for $250.  We bought floppies and then realized that if we used a hole puncher to make a slot on the disk that we could put data on both sides.

    Atari 400 just hooked up to a TV, so no monitor required.

    Atari 400 with BASIC cartridge inside:


    You can see the Joystick slots on the bottom there, as this doubled as a great gaming system.

    And the Cassette Drive that failed me on top of the $250 Floppy Drive I saved up for:


    Online Ladislaus

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    Re: Any experience with St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary?
    « Reply #7 on: May 03, 2018, 07:07:03 PM »
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  • I only reminisce about the Atari because it's solely responsible for the fact that I can now support my family ... as my Greek & Latin degree would not have cut it.


    Offline Clemens Maria

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    Re: Any experience with St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary?
    « Reply #8 on: May 03, 2018, 07:17:49 PM »
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  • Not to derail the thread but there were other cheap computers available during the 80s like the Commodore 64, Timex/Sinclair 1000, and others.  But they were all toys compared to the IBM PC.  If you wanted to do serious work you needed to get a pc for $1500.  Also the dollar figures are misleading because of inflation.  A $400 laptop today would be the relative equivalent price point of a low end tv which in the 80s would probably be around $100.  But at that time a $100 computer was a toy.  The $400 laptop today is a serious machine.  Certainly not top-of-the-line but still a tool for doing serious work.  Also if you bought any computing equipment in between 1975 and 2005, you had to resign yourself to the fact that it would be obsolete within 3 years or less.  Now when you buy a computer it will be current for at least 5 or 6 years.

    Offline Matthew

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    Re: Any experience with St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary?
    « Reply #9 on: May 04, 2018, 10:46:12 AM »
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  • A Commodore 64 would have been great, as far as 7-year-old me was concerned. But it still cost hundreds of dollars, and we would have needed a monitor (and probably a disk drive or at least a tape drive) too. We didn't have extra TVs around the house -- we only had a single black & white TV which was used by the family. We were poor. We lived in a really crappy neighborhood at the time. My dad was a "statistic" as it were, being out of work in the early 80's. It wasn't for lack of trying, either. We were on food stamps and everything. That was one of the worst recessions in recent times.

    But I almost forgot to point out that even a $400 computer, in 1982, was WAY MORE EXPENSIVE than a $400 computer today. Minimum wage back then was $3.25. The US dollar wasn't quite as worthless as it is today.

    It really puts today's $35 Raspberry Pi in perspective. A person could buy that for about 5 hours of minimum wage. That would be like a $15 computer in the 80's.
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    Offline Incredulous

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    Re: Any experience with St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary?
    « Reply #10 on: May 07, 2018, 10:09:07 AM »
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  • "Old geeks unleashed" ?

    No, I think it's called "going off topic" :facepalm:
    "Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it underfoot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Our Lord Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor but a destroyer."  St. Francis of Assisi


    Online Ladislaus

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    Re: Any experience with St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary?
    « Reply #11 on: May 07, 2018, 10:15:51 AM »
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  • "Old geeks unleashed" ?

    No, I think it's called "going off topic" :facepalm:

    Yeah, sorry ... my bad.

    But I think we said what we could about STAS.  Both Matthew and I were there in a different era, so our experiences would not necessarily help the OP.

    So, being 49, I am now "old geezer"?   :)  My dad lived to 92, so I'm only a little over halfway there!  Most of my grandparents made it to their 90s.  Yet my kids have no idea about what a cassette tape even is.

     

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